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I'm different alike

Source: Camp Ayandeh blog

Over 100 Summer Leadership Institute participants filled the Whittier College amphitheatre with cheer as the Camp Ayandeh spirit torch was passed on to Team Foozool, formerly group 2, for a winning team chant. For the rest of the night, the rainbow star-studded stick was theirs to hold.

Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB)'s 2013 Summer Leadership Institute (Camp Ayandeh) is being held from June 27, 2013 - July 10, 2013 in Whittier College outside Los Angeles, California.

Camp Ayandeh’s 12 teams performed their group names in catchy tunes and comedic skits Tuesday evening, commencing what will become a week of healthy chant rivalry.

Tuesday was Camp Ayandeh’s first full day of programming. The theme: Celebrating our Diversity.

Campers spent their day in team building activities, learning how to work together in a cohesive and collaborative manner. Workshops discussed both shared and differing identities, examining the idea of being “different alike,” and the individual stories of the Iranian diaspora community.

Introducing the history of the Iranian diaspora, campers were asked to examine such mass movements of people in the individual context. Situating campers as part of a larger community and history, Tuesday was a day aimed at identifying feelings of “two-ness” and relationships with “home.”

The theme even carried on through team chants, with Group 12, now named Ye’ Zanjeer (One Chain), who sang to musician 2 Chainz’s “I’m Different.”

The day closed around a campfire, as campers and counselors were given the opportunity to share their musical and artistic talents.

We sang, we danced and according to counselor Mohammad Torabinejad we are “way too fly at SLI for any and all of your stereotypes. Now get hype.”

Video: 2013 Summer Leadership Institute: Day 1 & 2

Read more and see photos on Camp Ayandeh's blog and facebook

About Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) - IAAB is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, non-profit volunteer organization with a young, dedicated staff spread across the United States, Europe and Iran.  The mission of the organization is to address issues of the Iranian diaspora community while raising awareness of the Iranian community, promoting leadership, and connecting Iranians across borders. For more information about IAAB, please visit

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